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Wavelength | Your Game Editing Resource | Simple r-speed tutorial
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Simple r-speed tutorial [Print this Article]
Posted by: imaculata2000
Date posted: May 11 2003
User Rating: 4 out of 5.0
Number of views: 7563
Number of comments: 0
Description: Basic texture scaling and VIS-blocking
(*Note: This tutorial assumes you have both Half-Life AND Hammer/Worldcraft v2.0. This tutorial is designed for those of you who are new to Level editing and CSG (Constructive Solid Geometry) or Brush-type maps.

  • This tutorial covers:
    Basic texture scaling
    Basic VIS-blocking

This tutorial will be covering basic VIS-blocking to keep the r-speeds of your map down. R-speeds are the running speeds of your maps. If you're a bit new to Half-Life level editing, and your maps run a bit slow, then this tutorial is the right one for you. In this tutorial Blue statements are the functions I want you to perform.

NOTE: I AM going to assume that by now you've mastered how to perform the basic level editing functions that were discussed in previous tutorials.

When your map starts to get a bit large and/or very detailed, then it might become a bit slow. Especially during those famous mass grunt battles. Here's how to keep those speeds reasonable. First of all when you start constructing your map you have to keep speed issues into account. Though the best way to learn this, is by trial and error, there are a few things you should remember when constructing your map.

First of all you should only make small or medium sized rooms very detailed. Adding lots of details to large open spaced, -or indoor areas often results in enormous loss of speed. Adding a decent amount of detail to such areas is a tricky business, and requires a lot of testing of you map. To improve the speed in large outdoor or indoor sections, you can scale up the textures. If you increase the texture size of a cliff face from 1.0 to 2.0, then the cliff will still look good, and the map will run better. To do this click on the "texture aplication icon". This will open up a new window displaying the texture size of the currently selected object. This is called the "face properties-window". Click on the face of the object of which you want to change the texture size. The "face"(-or side) of the object will turn red in the 3D-view, to indicate that that side is now selected. In the top left of the "face properties-window" is the size of the texture. Right now it should look like this:

X: 1.00
Y: 1.00

Change the numbers to:

X: 2.00
Y: 2.00

You'll notice that the texture size will increase in the 3D-view. Texture scaling like this is a good way to increase the speeds of your map. I hardly scale my textures up past 3.00, but basically that's up to you. Another way to improve the speed in your map is with VIS-blocking. VIS-blocking involves placing objects in your map, to limit the player's view. While playing your map, Half-Life only "renders" (-or calculates) that part of your map which is visible at that moment. If you are in a large detailed room, and you look into a simular detailed room, then you might experience speed issues. To prevent this from happening you should construct your map in a way, so that the player cannot see the next room. You could place an extra wall to block the view for example. We call that a VIS-blocker. VIS-blockers are also often used in areas where a level change takes place. By inserting an extra turn in a corridor, you can prevent the player from seeing the previous room. It is important to remember that entities such as doors, do not function as a VIS-blocker. Half-Life will still render the area behind any door or other entity. So that doesn't work. Keep that in mind.

That is all. For more information on VIS-blocking and r-speeds you should turn to the more advanced level editing tutorials.


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